GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGENCE (2012)

ghostrider2

Directed By: Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor; Neveldine/Taylor
Written By: David S. Goyer, Scott M. Gimple & Seth Hoffman
Story By: David S. Goyer
Cinematography By: Brandon Trost
Editor: Brian Berdan

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Johnny Whitworth, Violante Placido, Anthony Head, Cirian Hinds, Idris Elba, Christopher Lambert

Johnny Blaze, a man who made a deal with the Devil who called himself Roarke at the time, is on the run trying to make sure no-one is harmed by his alter ego, The Ghost Rider. He is approached by a Monk named Moreau who tells him that he can help be him free of the Rider, but first, he needs Johnny’s help to protect a boy, whom Roarke has plans for.

I have to say I am even shocked that they made a sequel to the first one. Which though it made money generally seemed to be thought of as a bad film by both critics and fans. Even audiences didn’t seem to warm to it as it was dulled from how dark the comic book series was. So when the film was announced it was shocking though I had a bit of hope once I found out the makers of the CRANK series of films would be making the film. I knew they would obviously make the film darker and closer to it’s original spirit. Though they didn’t write the script.

I used to be a fan of the comic book I read them during the Danny Ketch years where Johnny Blaze was a bounty hunter trying to kill the ghost rider. Through that comic I learned the origin of Johnny blaze and his time as the Ghost rider.

So when the film first was being made remembering how dark the comic was material wise I was looking forward to it. Then after seeing how it was whitewashed I was greatly disappointed. So when I saw this film was a Rated R film I had some faith until I saw the preview. It wasn’t more of the same but it wasn’t inspiring either.

Now while it’s easy to blame the directors keep in mind this is the rare project they didn’t write they are only here in a directing capacity. They do add fun visuals. The film is much more fitting with the spirit of the comic book.

Luckily the film starts right in with the action benefit of being a sequel we don’t have to go through the set-up and origin. Though it should be exciting and try to amaze audience at some points. It feels empty and shows effort to no avail. You don’t really feel anything. What’s worse it is shot in 3D more to impress then any other reason.

Nicolas cage gets to do his usual tics that if any other actor did them. He would be considered bizarre or accused of overacting. We are just used to it at this point. IS he really trying anymore or does he feel we expect it from him at this point? It’s obvious due to financial problems that his decisions on roles are more based on money need then anything else.

We see the characters go through emotions but it feels silly then for all it’s mythology.

The film doesn’t become slow but you still hope it gets to a point. I believe the audience would appreciate the film if it stuck to story and not the personal stuff that feels like padding for the relationship to advance as all films do but strangely doesn’t feel needed.

The character could be interesting, but is limited by the material. The effects are interesting, the peeing and delaying transformation particularly impressive. The filmmakers obviously filmed in eastern Europe to keep costs down. Though the film is shot vividly and action packed. Though the film has a bleak and nihilistic vision. It fit’s in with the filmmakers other films. While also fitting in with the rules of Superhero films and fans.

Idris elba’s contacts look cool but become distracting after awhile and I guess it was thought to be cool to have his character be bad ass and alcoholic. It just doesn’t have a real reason to be here.

The villian of the film is odd at first then he get’s better. After a transformation becomes more of a threat and more interesting but then takes the film more into a fantasy. Johnny Whitworth an actor who I usually like feels miscast. His character is supposed to be dangerous and calculating but he feels simple and too pretty to be a mercenary.

After watching Cirian hinds play a villain yet again in this film. I begin to wonder if each time he does it, Do they just give him the same wardrobe , Is that why he plays them so much for the checks and the suits.

Grade: D

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